13 Surefire Pillars For Losing Weight After 40 & Keeping It Off
Dieting sucks. Right? Especially when you want to start losing weight after 40. I mean, does ANYONE think dieting is fun? No one I’ve ever met. This is mainly because when you talk about dieting people hear ‘starvation’ and ‘deprivation’ and not being able to eat food that tastes good… EVER AGAIN! That sure can’t be fun!
But dieting doesn’t have to be that way. I’m not going to lie to you and say you can eat whatever you want whenever you want and as much as you want. Let’s face it, if any diet or fitness ‘guru’ promises you that, run fast and run fast. It’s a SCAM!
How do I know that? I know it from my own experience. I have tried different diets too. Some of them worked and some haven’t, but with all of them it was the same. As soon as I stopped the diet, I gained weight again. I realized, that instead of ‘going on a diet’, I need to restructure my lifestyle. Lifestyle changes last longer than diet plans because they fundamentally change what you eat and how you view your health and nutrition.
With a little discipline and some lifestyle changes, losing weight after 40 does not have to mean starvation or bad food for the rest of your life. You can eat your favorites. The key is understanding there’s a time and place within your overall nutrition program. Get it right and you really can lose weight without thinking you’ll never again bite into a tasty Big Mac or your favorite candy bar.
There are two big reasons that most dieters fail and something like 95% of people who lose weight gain it all back and more.
One is that most people look at a diet as a quick fix and choose something they hope will allow them to lose weight right away (if not sooner!). So they choose a diet that in no way can they stick to it long term (think about all those fads like the cabbage soup diet or the grapefruit diet, etc.).
Second, they go right back to their old way of eating once they lose the weight, conveniently forgetting that that’s how they gained all that weight in the first place!
Let’s take a look on how you can lose weight and keep it off after 40 the better way.
The “13 Pillars” Of Weight Loss After 40 And Why You Need Them To Make It Work
Here are the basics. Consider these the “Pillars” of this reconstruction phase:
Pillar #1: Stick to five 400-calorie meals per day.
Here’s an unpopular fact: there’s a strong correlation between the calories you consume and how much you weight. (Crazy, eh?)
However, this is the most important part since it’s what you actually consume on a daily basis. If you’re going to lose weight, you need to regulate what you eat. You need to know what’s being consumed and what it’s doing for your body.
Eat four 400-calorie meals and drink at least 8 cups of water each day (I’d recommend drinking even more than that), during the first week you get started with changing your habits and losing weight. This is to reduce the amount of food traveling in your body and “clean” you out. Consider this your healthy body cleanse.
After the first week, eat five 400-calorie meals. Note that you’re consuming the same amount of calories each meal, you’re just eating one more meal each day than you were in the first week.
Not only does this breakdown make for a consistent meal plan, it also makes each meal that much more important. If you only have 1,600-2,000 calories to work with each day, you need to make sure you’re planning them out correctly so your body gets the proper nutrition.
Pillar #2: Make sure you consume good fats with every meal.
Getting enough of the good fats will help you lose fat, build muscle, and recover faster from your workouts. In addition, it has myriad health benefits, including being good for your heart.
Not all fats are created equal. Yes, you want to avoid some fats like Trans Fat. To scare yourself, go ahead and Google “why is trans fat bad?”. I’ll leave that one to Google to tell you.
So what about good fat? Those would be the monounsaturated fats.
You’ll find monounsaturated fats most prevalently in these foods:
- Oils (olive oil, almond oil, sesame oil, flax oil, etc)
- Nuts and seeds (almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, etc)
- Dark Chocolate (yes, this is everyone’s favorite among these)
Monounsaturated fats have a whole slew of healthy benefits, but one of the most attractive ones is that they help promote fat loss. Best of all, you can easily incorporate one of these foods into every meal you eat.
Pillar #3: Eat slowly.
Fact: when you slam your food, it doesn’t last as long nor is it as filling as it could be. Eating fast doesn’t curb hunger as well as eating the same portion slowly, which can lead to over-eating or feeling unfulfilled, resulting in over-eating later.
Instead of rushing to be the first one done with your plate, take your time. Eat your food slowly and you’ll feel more satisfied with the same amount of food (as opposed to eating it faster and not feeling satisfied).
Also, drink a full glass of water before each meal and if possible drink another full glass during or after you finish your meal. This will help you feel fuller without over-eating.
Pillar #4: Drink lots of water.
This should be a staple of your day-to-day lifestyle anyway, so it should go without saying that water needs to be the main liquid you consume.
Not only is water essential to a healthy body and hydration, but it can help fill you up (odd as that sounds). I mentioned this in the last point above, but when you drink water before, during or after your meals, it helps satisfy hunger cravings.
In addition, drinking water periodically helps curb your appetite throughout the day, making it easier to stick to a balanced diet with proper nutrition.
Case in point: drink more water!
Pillar #5: Prepare your meals in advance.
A lot of people don’t give up the healthy eating because they want to. Most of them give up, because they don’t plan at all or they just plan poorly.
Remember the saying: “Fail to plan, plan to fail”. The anonymous person who created that saying couldn’t have been more right.
If you want to successfully lose weight and keep it off with your chosen meal plan, then you need to prepare your meals in advance, especially if you don’t eat at home. When I have to get up early in the morning for work, then there is only a very little chance, that I have time to prepare my proper meal plan which I will eat throughout the day, before I have to leave. I then make sure, that I prepare the meals before I go to bed. The other morning I just get up and can grab the bag containing the meals i prepared and I’m good to go.
Pillar #6: Eliminate processed foods.
Stick to natural foods. Forget anything processed that is just a bunch of chemicals. You’re putting poison in your body! I can’t stress this enough. Processed foods play a huge role in obesity as well as many other health problems such as diabetes, not to mention fat gain.
Pillar #7: Increase your protein intake.
Eating more protein will boost your body’s metabolism. This helps maintaining your muscle mass. Both of them are key factors when it comes to losing weight and keeping it off.
Different food combinations will also help to burn off more calories by boosting up your metabolism. You also should eat carbs which are rich in fiber. They are taking a bit more time to digest which gives you the feeling of being “full” for a longer time period.
Together with those rich in fiber carbs, you should eat more proteins. Your body is going to burn more calories by eating those extra proteins.
Increasing the intake of protein has been confirmed within a study which was published in the American Journal of Physiology. One group consumed a diet high in protein (a bit more than one gram per pound of body weight per day). The other group ate a diet with a protein level near to the one of the RDA.
The first group which was consuming the high protein diet was burning off more body fat than the second group which was consuming a protein diet near equal to the RDA.
Let’s look at some of the food sources which are high in protein:
- Egg whites
- Chicken breasts
- Turkey breasts
- Lean beef
- Fish (tuna, salmon, shrimp cocktail, swordfish, shellfish)
- Protein bars
- Egg protein powder
- Casein (cottage cheese)
Pillar #8: Have a reward day.
I know, it’s usually called a cheat day or cheat meal but to me that sounds like you’re doing something wrong. It’s too negative. Let’s call it a reward day for everything you are doing right.
First, giving yourself a reward day does not mean going so crazy that you sabotage everything you’re worked hard to achieve. As to whether it’s a meal, day, or even half a day, only you can decide. Only you know how far to go with this to keep you on track. Only you know if you’re better off with just a meal because an entire day will send you flying off the progress tracks, turning your reward day into a reward week. Eat what you want but eat normally. Don’t stuff yourself. Eat what you want until you are full and satisfied.
Even More Fiber on Treat Day: Be sure to take a fiber supplement on treat day and get a lot of fiber that you might not be getting through reward day foods.
Pillar #9: Read the food labels carefully.
You may be surprised what’s in certain foods or how many calories are in a serving (a serving is NOT the entire bottle or bag).
Pillar #10: Get more sleep.
Getting enough sleep on a regular basis is crucial to having your body perform optimally. Your body needs at least 7 to 8 hours of restful sleep each night. Your body repairs itself and recovers from your workouts while you sleep.
Without enough sleep you’re on your way to over training, feeling burnt out and sore, and getting sick often. SLEEP!
Pillar #11: Don’t go shopping without a list.
This is huge. You must know beforehand what you need to get at the grocery store for two big reasons.
- If you don’t, you’ll end up making impulse buys of food you shouldn’t have in the house.
- Not if you want to stick to your nutrition program and show off your sexy abs.
By having a list you can go directly to the food items you need and avoid all the junk food areas that the store tries to make you walk through since these are high profit items.
Pillar #12: Consider staying away from all white carbohydrates.
At the very least minimize them by only allowing yourselves these treats once in a while such as on a reward day.
White carbohydrates include bread, rice, potatoes, cereal, pasta, fried food with breading, tortillas and anything else white that falls under this category.
Pillar #13: Eat the same or similar meals (most of the time).
While you can get quite a variety of tasty meals and still eat healthy, it’s easier to eat the same meals most of the time. While most people cite ‘lack of variety’ to why they can’t stick to a nutrition plan, this really is just an excuse. Why? Because most people already are very limited in what they eat and eat the same meals most of the time.
While dinner may change, it’s still a limited number of choices and breakfast and lunch, for most people, are the same meals every day, at least during the work week. So limiting meals is something most of us already do.
1/2 cup Natural Oatmeal (can add cinnamon and a few berries [strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, blackberry], watermelon)
- 3 Egg Whites to every Whole Egg
- Chopped Onion
- Chopped Pepper
- Black Beans
2 capsules of EFA supplement
Raw Almonds or Cashews
Chicken Breast (Garlic & Pepper Seasoning & chopped onions)
Salmon or Tuna (chopped in salad if you prefer)
Large Chopped Salad (onion, peppers, broccoli, tomato, cucumber, macadamia oil and vinegar)
2 capsules of EFA Supplement
Raw Almonds or Cashews
In order to maximize your weight loss efforts and minimize the chances of suffering from weight gain rebound syndrome, you may want to consider starting with yoga burn or a body workout program and performing some exercises a few times a week.
Don’t Get Overwhelmed
Don’t let all of this keep you from taking action or making progress. You don’t need to make all the positive changes at once. If you feel that would be too much for you and drive you back to your current unhealthy lifestyle, don’t do it!
Take your time and implement a handful of changes at a time. Every week or two you can make more positive changes. Let’s say your a big chips and soda person, among other bad habits. You can start by substituting diet soda for regular soda and whole grain pretzels for chips. Start by just changing breakfast. You get the idea.
Sure, it may take longer to get the results you want but if it allows you to stick with your new program for life, that’s what matters!
While it may seem like a lot to take in, if you go over it again there are really simple rules to follow that will allow you to be healthy and energetic while losing weight, too!
I hope you enjoyed that post and that I could help you to get started losing weight after 40. If you have any questions, please leave a comment below and I’ll try to answer them as good and as soon as I can.
PS: I have a Free eBook for you. It’s called the Lifestyle Diet Makeover and it contains everything I did to lose the 30 pounds. You can get it here.
PPS: If you found this post helpful, please share it with your friends. Thank You.